No. 4 NC State women rally from 16 points down, beat BC

BOSTON (AP) — North Carolina State forward Kayla Jones was knocked onto her back, out of breath, after a layup that would have cut what had been a 16-point Boston College lead down to four with less than three minutes remaining.

“When she said a charge I said, ‘Oh my goodness.’ I was gassed,” Jones said. “I’m just glad they overturned it.”

After a talk among the officials, the ruling was changed to a blocking foul and the basket counted. Jones missed the free throw but hit a 3-pointer after the Wolfpack got the rebound and No. 4 N.C. State was back on its way to a 75-69 victory over BC on Sunday.

“As we sometimes say, ‘That was a ugly baby, but it’s our baby,’” Wolfpack coach Wes Moore said. “We’re happy to get out of here with a win.”

Jones scored 25 points and Elissa Cunane had 23 points with 15 rebounds on Sunday as the Wolfpack (6-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored 25 of the game’s last 29 points to remain unbeaten. Jones had 11 points — including nine in a row as the Wolfpack cut a double-digit deficit to one point — and Cunane had eight rebounds in the fourth quarter.

“This league is tough … our team needs to know that. Hopefully we can learn from that,” Moore said. “To get out of here with a win and still be able to learn from it will be a good thing.”

Makayla Dickens scored 20 points, and Cam Swartz and Marnelle Garraud had 15 apiece for BC (4-2, 0-2 ACC). The Eagles made just two baskets in the fourth quarter while committing six turnovers.

Boston College led for all but the first basket and took its biggest lead, 65-49, early in the fourth quarter before the Wolfpack ran off eight straight points. After a layup by Taylor Soule with 4:44 left, N.C. State scored the next 15 points, taking the lead with 1:25 to play on a pair of free throws by Jakia Brown-Turner.

TURNING POINT

BC led 67-61 with three minutes left when Wolfpack guard Raina Perez knocked away a pass intended for Swartz in front of the Eagles bench, knocking her down in the process. BC coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee argued for a foul while the play went the other way.

Under the other basket, Jones drove for a layup that was initially waved off as a charging foul. After the referees discussed it, they decided Dickens’ feet were on the circle and it was a blocking foul.

Jones’ 3-pointer made it a five-point possession and a one-point game.

BIG PICTURE

N.C. State: After a series of 30-, 40-, and 50-point victories over teams like North Florida and Elon, the Wolfpack beat No. 5 South Carolina for a quality win. But a close win over unranked BC could be an indication that the ACC will present a tougher challenge for N.C. State.

Boston College: Starting ACC play with a loss to Georgia Tech could have signaled a step backward this season. Instead, the Eagles showed they can stay with the best teams in the league.

UP NEXT

N.C. State: Hosts Wake Forest on Thursday night.

Boston College: Hosts Syracuse on Sunday.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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